Say no to constitutional convention
Posted June 9, 2017
To the editor:
There are almost never simple solutions to complex challenges, and for this reason, a no vote on a constitutional convention is the only sensible choice for New Yorkers this November.
We all want better government, but creating an open-ended process controlled by professional politicians at a cost of potentially hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars, isn’t the best way to achieve it.
Senior citizens especially should understand that the state constitution has important protections such as provisions against age discrimination, the right to an absentee ballot, assurance of access to nursing care, and labor standards.
Seniors should understand that the state constitution provides protection against age discrimination. This is especially important on the job and in seeking employment, as about a third of 65- to 75-year-olds in New York still work and make up a significant portion of the workforce.
Seniors should understand that the state constitution provides important labor protections, setting the standards for the minimum wage, workday hours, and fairness in how overtime is paid.
Seniors, who use the absentee ballot more than any other group, should understand that the state constitution provides important protections on ensuring their voting rights.
Retirees that depend on their pensions can lose them. This will result in a dramatic blow to the New York State economy as those pensions create 216,000 jobs, contribute $35 billion to the economy, and result in $4.13 billion in New York State taxes.
There are already better ways to modify the constitution than by opening it up to wholesale changes that put rights and protections at risk.
The author is the recording secretary of the Council of Municipal Retiree Organizations.